antidepressants / dealing with high-functioning anxiety

Hey all, I'm going in to my first summer analyst position this June. I've recently been having symptoms of high-functioning anxiety, but able to take care of my schoolwork / outside jobs. I am considering seeing a doctor to discuss antidepressants since my other go-to remedies for anxiety (exercise, meditation) have not been doing it for me. Wondering if anyone on here went through something similar / has any advice. I am a little nervous about getting the dosage right before I start working intensely this summer. Thanks! 

Comments (11)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 28, 2021 - 8:46pm

Very similar situation. Had high functioning anxiety, then all the sudden, wasn't so high functioning anymore. Got on a low dose of an SSRI and it helped a ton. Back to high functioning, and generally less anxious. You still gotta take care of yourself in other ways, but medication has been incredibly helpful for me. 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Cov
Feb 28, 2021 - 10:06pm

What have you done besides medication that has helped? I'm on meds but it still gets bad at times. 

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 28, 2021 - 10:35pm

Exercise. I was allergic to the gym growing up, but now I try to go several times a week. I also did therapy for a few months, not sure how useful it was for me, but it is useful for lots of people. Also just call friends or my family when I'm feeling stressed (to bitch, sure, but also to ask about them). Trying to cut down some on drinking, but it's not that easy since I'm at school haha. Then I guess the other thing is taking time to do things I actually enjoy or hang with friends. I really feel for you though man, I still have some pretty bad days too. It's probably harder to do these as an adult in the working world, but I think they're good practices if you can find the time.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Feb 28, 2021 - 10:39pm

You will probably want to start with a low dose, then adjust upward if necessary. A general practice doc will be less aggressive than a psychiatrist. Like you, I was nervous, but I had a long talk with my dr until I felt comfortable. Mild side effects for 1.5 weeks then they subsided

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in CorpFin
Mar 1, 2021 - 8:31pm

I have a low dose of anti-depressants. 

Have a kin pin prescription I use on occasion when things get too bad. I try to avoid it because known to be addictive. 

At my worst, I had lost 35 lbs and almost dropped out of the analyst training program (corp. banking). I was throwing up before work in the morning and crying in the bathroom stalls while trying to keep a straight face for 3 months. Once I got on the right medicine, things normalized quickly. It stemmed from doing coke right before graduation, but after seeing doctors, I realized I had been dealing with anxiety my whole life (just not to that extent). Been fine for 4 years now. I have episodes that last for like a week or a few days a couple of times a year, but with medicine, working out, and meditation, I pull through quickly now. Hang in there - things will get better.

Mar 4, 2021 - 12:54pm
angelosgeorgakis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I suffered from anxiety and it took me more than 10 years to unlock and master it.

You can find all the tools and techniques in this complete guide here:

angelosgeorgakis. com/anxiety-complete-guide/

A couple of quick tips:

When anxiety hits, focus on bodily sensations.

Ask yourself: "What am I feeling?"

Be specific, name all the feelings.

Then ask, "Where am I feeling it in my body? I feel a tightness in my chest, throat, etc.".

If you feel extremely anxious, the best way to expend the excess energy is to engage in cardiovascular exercise, such as running or walking briskly.

Aim for at least fifteen to twenty minutes until you are slightly out of breath, to expend some stress hormones.

Then you can go back to focusing on bodily sensations.

Also, practice daily this fantastic exercise by my mentor Prof. Liz Stanley who trains marines before deployment to war (well I know war is not as bad as IB but anyway lol) :

angelosgeorgakis. com/racing-thoughts/#8_%E2%80%93_Practice_the_Contact_Points_Exercise

I can share more tips on anxiety, let me know.

All the best!

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 4, 2021 - 1:05pm

I've struggled with anxiety my whole adult life and I've spent time in both banking and the buyside. Honestly, it never really goes away even with medication - you just learn to live with it. I have found sleeping well, exercise, meditation, and building confidence go a really long way, but there are still those days you experience it no matter what. I've lived through it in so many key moments (e.g. big presentations/meetings, social settings, etc.) that I can completely function while having an anxiety attack and nobody would know. It sucks, I get it, but learning to live with it is your best bet I think over medication. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 4, 2021 - 1:24pm

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